Oct. 11, 2012 by Larry Pinkney, blackcommentator.com
“...the two parties have combined against us to nullify our power by a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ of non-recognition, no matter how we vote...May God write us down as asses if ever again we are found putting our trust in either Republican or the Democratic parties.”
-W.E.B. Du Bois
“No, I think the strongest suggestion is that they are working for the government, the new house niggers. And what better way is there for them to sell themselves to us than to scream Black, Black, Black, Black...”
Voting for the fraudulent, corporate-owned, Democratic and Republican parties [i.e. the Republicrats] is part of the manipulated pathology of insanity in this nation, and is akin to a person vainly and repeatedly attempting to commit suicide.
The time has come to say NO to the [mis]leadership of the NAACP.
Notwithstanding the futility and absurdity of voting for the Democrats and Republicans, longstanding so-called ‘civil rights’ organizations, most notably in this instance, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), feverishly engage in (for example) opposing pending voting photo-ID legislation in U.S. general elections while simultaneously and hypocritically insisting on mandatory photo-ID in order to receive a ballot and vote in its own organizational elections. This of course, like the corporate-owned Democratic and Republican parties themselves, is an unmitigated fraud.
It appears that appeasing the NAACP’s corporate sponsors, which include Whirlpool Corporation, Wells Fargo, General Motors, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, takes precedence inside the NAACP over principles, and the vigorous, unflinching, steadfast, and resolute pursuit by the NAACP against discrimination and corporate abuse and/or malfeasance. In specific regards to this matter, it also appears that subterfuge and corporate appeasement, rather than transparency, responsiveness, and resolutely serving the needs of everyday people, infests much of the leadership of the NAACP. Pertaining specifically to this, inquiries from a segment of the black media were made to the national, state, and regional levels of the NAACP, and have, since February of 2012, gone unanswered - unresponded to. Indeed, as the (Swahili) African proverb so poignantly states, “Much Silence has a Mighty Noise.” The “silence” on the part of the NAACP with respect to these inquiries would seem to say it all.
The Case of Benton Harbor, Michigan, and NAACP Hypocrisy
Reverend Edward Pinkney [not related], former president of the NAACP Benton Harbor, Michigan branch, and an outspoken and staunch opponent of Whirlpool Corporation’s subterfuge and political and economic disenfranchisement of the people of that majority black township, proved to be too much for both Whirlpool Corporation and apparently the national, state, and regional leadership of the NAACP to tolerate. Rev. Pinkney had to be ‘neutralized.’ Whirlpool Corporation’s corporate control and interests were being threatened by the effective political organizing of Rev. Pinkney.
Instead of strongly supporting Rev. Pinkney’s much needed and legitimate efforts, as the then NAACP president on behalf of the people of Benton Harbor, the NAACP, most notably Ms. Yvonne White, president at the Michigan state level of the NAACP, began to harass Rev. Pinkney in the form of repeated bureaucratic and underhanded attempts to have him removed as Benton Harbor’s NAACP chapter president. Despite appeals to the leadership of the national, state, and regional levels of the NAACP for support of Rev. Pinkney and the people of Benton Harbor, none was forthcoming. Meanwhile, supporters of Whirlpool Corporation were groomed to oust Rev. Pinkney and take over the leadership of the Benton Harbor chapter of the NAACP. After initially failing to oust Rev. Pinkney, he was ultimately replaced, via a bought-and-paid-for ‘election,’ that installed a local NAACP leadership acceptable to Whirlpool Corporation. This was of course accomplished, in no small measure, due to the subterfuge and financial chicanery of Whirlpool Corporation in concert with segments of the NAACP leadership outside Benton Harbor. The needs of the everyday, struggling, people of Benton Harbor be damned!
It is also of particular note that despite the NAACP’s political stance of opposing a mandatory voter photo-ID requirement for voters in U.S. general elections, the bought-and-paid-for ‘election’ that resulted in the installation of a local NAACP leadership acceptable to Whirlpool Corporation and the national and state NAACP leadership, included - (you guessed it) - the mandatory requirement that prospective voters in that NAACP election show photo-ID in order to obtain a ballot and vote. In fact, even though Rev. Pinkney was a former NAACP Benton Harbor chapter president, was exceedingly well known, and was himself a candidate in that ‘election;’ he was nevertheless required to return home to get his photo-ID in order to obtain a ballot and vote in that NAACP farce of an election in Benton Harbor! This represents the hypocrisy, people-disenfranchisement, and double standards by much of the national, state, and regional leadership of the NAACP! This is also an example of how the misleadership in general of much of Black America, et al, has moved backwards.
Is The NAACP Really Relevant Today?
The NAACP’s relevance today, like that of the corporate-owned Democratic and Republican parties, is primarily as that of a corporate-owned front and/or fraud. The examples of the NAACP’s hypocrisy, its concomitant people-disenfranchisement, and its double standards are by no means limited to Benton Harbor, or the state of Michigan. Sadly, there are other examples of the same and/or similar kinds of actions and inactions at the national, state, and regional levels of the leadership of the NAACP throughout this nation.
Thus, the necessary cry that has been put out from Benton Harbor, Michigan, is ‘Burn Baby Burn’ - burn your NAACP membership cards, and tell that organization not to renew your membership via debit cards, credit cards, or in any other fashion. The everyday ordinary people in this nation and around the world are seriously hurting, and serious, prolonged, and protracted actions, that genuinely serve ordinary folk in body and soul, (not corporate appeasement) are what is called for now.
The time has come to say NO to the [mis]leadership of the NAACP. Sadly, this organization has made itself of little relevance as relates to resolutely serving the plain, ordinary, everyday people. It is, today, essentially a corporation that has inherited the proud NAACP name along with an important, and sterling past, but is overwhelmingly no longer an organization adhering to the principles and struggle for which its past stood so strongly. Unless or until the NAACP rids itself of its corporate-mentality leadership and actively links the issues, it will remain of little or no real relevance as pertains to today’s necessary and intensifying struggles against increasing injustice and corporate hegemony at home, and ongoing murderous U.S. militarism abroad.
Everyday Black, White, Brown, Red, and Yellow people in this 21st century are engaged in a collective national and worldwide struggle to regain our humanity. This cannot be obtained by corporate appeasement or by supporting the Democrats and Republicans. To the contrary, this can only be obtained by ditching these systemic Republicrats and creatively building a completely new and different model of human interactions that is based upon consistently serving the needs, hopes, and aspirations of the ordinary everyday people.
Remember: Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Onward, then, my sisters and brothers! Onward!
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member and Columnist, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self-authored his civil / political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS News Hour, formerly known as The MacNeil / Lehrer News Hour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book.) Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.